lighting, Diplomacy

The UN World Data Forum 2018

22 October 2018 - 24 October 2018

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Event description

The UN World Data Forum takes place in Dubai from 22 to 24 October. Building on the recommendation of the ‘A World That Counts’ report (2014), the UN Statistical Commission agreed on holding a United Nations World Data Forum on Sustainable Development Data (UN World Data Forum). The forum is platform for intensifying co-operation with various professional groups, such as information technology, geospatial information managers, data scientists, and users, as well as civil society stakeholders.
DiploFoundation recognises the importance of the forum and has submitted a session on ‘Data & diplomats: capacity development for diplomats and policy-makers in the data age‘, which will address the capacity development needs for decision-makers in the public sector, with a focus on ministries of foreign affairs.
The session will take place on 23 October and will build on DiploFoundation’s 15 years of expertise in capacity develpment in the field of diplomacy and technology, which includes a recently developed course on Data Diplomacy. As an outcome, it aims to establish a curriculum for data-skills for policy-makers, which can be further elaborated and implemented in DiploFoundation’s online courses.

We argue that in order to properly integrate data analyses into decision and policy-making, it does not suffice to hire data analysts. There is a need for diplomats and international policy-makers to:

  • understand what is, and what is not, possible when it comes to data for policy-making;
  • be able to communicate smoothly with data scientists, and vice versa;
  • ask the right questions, so that data scientists are aware of exactly what is needed;
  • understand the legal framework within which data can be processed, and the related data protection and security mechanisms; and
  • craft sustainable partnerships with data providers or analysts in the private sector.
  • Maria Fasli (UNESCO Chair in Analytics and Data Science Director, Institute for Analytics and Data Science, University of Essex, UK)
  • Katharina E Höne (Researcher Diplomacy and Global Governance, Project Manager Online Learning and Publications, DiploFoundation)
  • Jovan Kurbalija (Executive Director, Secretariat of the High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation)
  • Grace Mutung’u (Associate, Kenya ICT Support Network, Kenya)
  • Graham Nelson (Head of the Open Source Unit, Foreign and Commonwealth Office. UK)
  • Rawl Prescott (Programme Assistant, CARICOM Secretariat, Guyana)
  • Javier Teran (Statistician at UNOCHA and member of the Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX) team)


For more information, visit the dedicated page for our session